The Issues with Buying in Bulk from Stores like Costco and Sam’s Club…

Someone recently asked me what my thoughts were on buying produce from stores like Costco and Sam’s Club, and I thought I would share my response.

  • The first thought I had was about produce quality. The good news is that these stores will have the same quality as regular grocery stores; but, the bad news is that these stores and grocery stores have pretty low quality produce in general. The problem is that typically the produce has been picked before ripening and is stored for long periods of time during transportation, storage, and display. Given that nutrients in produce degrade quickly over time, by the time you eat it, it has very little nutrition, which means that you didn’t get your money’s worth! However, if your only two options are between a regular grocery store and Costco, then Costco is not a bad choice. To get better quality produce, the best options will be to grow your own food or to buy directly from farms (via farmers’ markets, Community Support Agriculture [CSA] programs, or produce stands). Another option is to buy local produce from health food and co-op grocery stores; however, the produce sold in these stores can often be stored for long periods of time as well.
  • My second thought was about buying in bulk (i.e., in large quantities) in general. Buying in bulk is only a deal when you actually eat all of what you buy. Most people don’t, so buying in bulk doesn’t end up saving them money. Personally, the only foods I buy in bulk are my staple foods, which include hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, and olive oil. However, I have very few staples because I eat in season, and when you eat according to the season, you end up having few staples because your diet is always changing.

These are my thoughts! What do you think?


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